Sunday, September 12, 2010

The US monetary system is in serious trouble: It is not Incompetence, it is Policy Manipulation

There is no question the US monetary system is in serious trouble and the situation continues to deteriorate. The smug elitist owners of the system are not getting the desired results and there is great consternation among the players. Since 1913 in running US monetary policy the Fed has had one recession after another and two depressions. The second one is the one we are now in. The Fed’s creation was mainly to end recessions and depressions, something obviously they have been quite unsuccessful at. The reason is they never intended to be successful. The fed was created by its owners to bring them staggering profits, but more importantly, to control the nation politically, economically and financially. The owner’s goal has always been to implement world government and the Fed’s control was designed to bring that about.

True political control of both major parties began in the 1930s and had General Smedly Butler not exposed what this cabal was up too, the final attempt at world government would have happened much sooner. As we moved through the 1960s and 1970s, the political control became manifest with the purchase of most politicians in the house and the Senate. The difference between both parties became almost indistinguishable, as the flow of money grew greater and greater. It’s so bad now that lawmakers do not even read the bills they vote for or against. As Mrs. Pelosi says, “Vote for the bill and we will tell you later what’s in it.” What a novel way of conducting government. The Fed runs the government; the monetary and fiscal policies and the economy make no mistake about it. Yes, they control every facet of policy in every branch of government. In this process they have neutered the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and they make no bones about it. The separation of powers no longer exists; at least for now they control everything. The Fed owners, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and other domestic players, as well as foreign owners, dictate exactly what is going to happen. The idea is to continually strengthen the corporate control over government and to make sure of the direction of the corporate elitists’ government becomes ever more powerful in the hands of these monopolists.

The fed was not only set up to end recessions and depressions, but to be able to create money and credit as needed in the economy. Since its inception it has created booms and busts just as the Treasury Department did before it. As usual the problems have been greed and politics. Although privately owned the Fed has acted as a branch of government. It was not created to serve the public, but to serve its masters, banking and Wall Street and as an afterthought government. They have also been there to fund government when necessary through monetization, which resulted in inflation.

The results of the actions of the Fed have been a decline in the value of the dollar since 1913 of some 98%. This is what the unbridled issuance of money and credit has done to purchasing power over the past 97 years. A very poor and unenviable record and certainly justification for eliminating the Fed. That has not happen. As we saw recently all those bought and paid for representatives and senators made sure an audit and investigation of the Fed was stopped in its tracks.

The current era of the destruction of the dollar by the Fed began on August 15,1971, when President Richard Nixon closed the gold window. Ever since then dollar purchasing power has plunged and Americans have been stuck with a fiat currency. Those actions culminated in a fall in the value of the dollar, 14-3/8% inflation, $50.00 silver and $850.00 gold in 1980. That was followed by a monetary purge for three years, which was followed by the Fed doing the same thing over and over again. All we saw was debt piled upon debt by the Fed and the Treasury and the same thing happened universally worldwide. A world of Keynesians had been created to march lock step with the Fed. The result of these monetary machinations is a condition that is now irreversible. It’s called deep systemic depression.

Since 1971 we have been enveloped in stagflation, a term created by Harry Schultz, the guru and father of all financial writers. You might liken the roller coaster ride of the past 39 years to planned chaos. Some called it business cycles. We call it Fed manipulation. The Fed switched from targeting money supply as we approached 1980, because it constrained their ability to issue vast amounts of money and credit thus they used interest rates as a manipulative device. Paul Volcker, Fed Chairman, learned a very important lesson in the 1980s and that was gold had to be suppressed if monetary policy were to work. In August of 1988 President Reagan signed the Executive order creating the “President’s Working Group on Financial Markets,” which has been used to suppress gold and silver prices ever since and manipulate markets worldwide ever since. This mechanism allowed the Fed to do anything they pleased. The result was during the late 1990s and into today’s markets, we see banks that within the fractional banking system not only lend nine times underlying assets, which was considered normal, but they lent up to 70 times. That was truly a banking system out of control. There is no banker in his right mind that would have done such a thing if not instructed to by the Fed. That puts us right where we are today with banks still extended at 40 times assets. We are now learning that creating money and credit does not create real wealth. The result has been three years of credit crisis or as referred to as GFC, the Global Financial Crisis. There are many things that created such a crisis, but the main ones are unbridled creation of money and credit, a socialist-fascist welfare state, war and the absence of a gold standard, whose restraints would have prohibited what we have seen.

The last year of budget surplus was 1960. Bill Clinton’s claim to surplus never happened. The build up of debt particularly since August 15, 1971, has been colossal. What kept the game going longer was the serial theft of Social Security funds.

The answer to these problems by the Fed has been, as we predicted, a new phase of quantitative easing. The legislature won’t assist the administration by passing another stimulus plan so close to the election; thus, the administration has proposed a number of measures they hope to pass between November 5th and the end of the year. Remember, 95% of Congress and the Senate have already been paid off, so they’ll pass anything their benefactors want whether they are returning or they are not. Congress felt it safe to pass an unemployment extension of $34 billion. The insider’s quick fixes are as follows: allow companies to write off 100% of new investments in plant and equipment for 2011, plus $100 billion in research tax breaks. Big business has well over $1 trillion in cash, so this is a blatant attempt to buy votes. The cost will be $200 billion. Then there is to be $50 billion for infrastructure and $50 billion for underwater mortgages. That comes to $434 billion. Mr. Obama is yet to announce tax relief for low-income households and a payroll holiday tax for small businesses, which we estimate to be close to $200 billion. That puts social spending at $634 billion and he plans to get this all passed between November 5th and the end of the lame duck period after the election. We might add among this political largess nowhere is there a mention of creating jobs. As we have found out in sports, steroids eventually kill the user. In finance and economics the same is true. Ignoring the bogus birth/death ratio in employment is a perilous decision. We are seeing declines in full-time employment and the increase in part-time status. The litany goes on as we jump from one crisis to another.

We have identified the current malaise as depression. It’s been 33 months since a recession began. It’s been 18 months since the inflationary depression began. For those of you who do not believe that we are in a depression ponder the following. These numbers are from the peak until now. retail sales are off 4.5%; corporate profits 20%; compensation 3.7%; real GDP 1.3%; exports 9.2%; industrial production 7.2%; employment 5.5%; manufacturing orders 22.1%; shipments 12.5%; housing starts 63.5%; new home sales 68.9%; existing home sales 41.2% and commercial construction 35.7%.

Government transfers to households are up 31% over three years. Thirty percent of personal income comes from government. How can people buy homes with still falling prices, fear of unemployment and wages, which in real terms have fallen 8.4%. Everywhere you look major company profits are up, but sales are off. The higher bottom line has been achieved by laying people off, because they make up 70% of operating costs. Workers who are terrified of losing their jobs are working harder, but by the looks of last months productivity figures, minus 1.8%, that may have come to an end. Consumers are buying only what they have to buy. Consumers previously making up 72% of GDP now make up 69-1/2% and that number could go back to the mean since WWII of 64.5%. Those cutbacks mean more unemployment, fewer house sales and a downward spiral. Is it any wonder Americans are borrowing against their 401k’s, and cashing out cash value life policies and annuities? There are systemic and secular changes going on. We are headed back to a lifestyle of the late 1940s, 50s and 60s, so prepare yourself.

The bottom line is the only solution banking, Wall Street and the Fed have left is to substantially increase demand and put people to work and the only way that can happen is for the government to spend more, tax less, and for the Fed to increase money and credit – otherwise it is over. That is not really the right thing to do, but that is what they have to do – otherwise it is a deflationary depression. This is what the US has done over and over since WWII, only this time it’s different. The flip side of such policy positions is the tremendous debt that is created. Not only is debt piled up on debt, but the value of the dollar suffers as the world’s reserve currency, not only against other currencies, but even more so versus gold. Does the rest of the world really want to accumulate a currency of declining value? Over this past year China has sold $100 billion of US Treasuries. Could it be that the exodus from the dollars has already begun? Of course it has.

Many people would like to believe this terrible situation is the result of incompetence. The bureaucrats and others who run economic and political policy knows what they are doing won’t work. They have been playing for time only a game of musical chairs. Just look at what the Fed is doing. It wants to sell toxic waste back to the banks it bought it from, supposedly to clear its books. That may very well be true, but it doesn’t want the public to know what they paid and then sold for. If that ever hits the market the market for MBS and CDOs would collapse. It’s nothing more than a 3-card Monte game. We know one of the excuses for creating the fed was the ability to have an elastic currency, but this is going a little too far. We believe Fed losses are well over $1 trillion and other central banks, or other parties are holding losses.

Deutsche Bank under suspicion in emissions-trading fraud - Summary

Berlin/Frankfurt - Employees of Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank, have come under suspicion of involvement in a scheme to avoid taxation on emissions trading, state prosecutors said Thursday.In nationwide raids on Wednesday, which included the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, the country's financial capital, and offices of energy giant RWE, some 230 premises were searched.The investigation concerns some 50 companies and over 150 suspects, who are thought to have bought carbon credits from abroad and resold them through interconnected companies in Germany without declaring or paying the appropriate sales tax, prosecutors said.A spokesman for Deutsche Bank confirmed on Thursday that seven of its employees were among those under suspicion.Three arrests have so far been made.Frankfurt prosecutor Guenter Wittig gave no further details regarding the investigations, but said that examination of confiscated mobile phones, laptops and hard-drives could take months.The last link in the chain of companies in the so-called carousel fraud is thought to have resold the carbon certificates abroad, entitling them to sales tax reimbursements from the government. A spokesman for the bank was quoted in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper saying "we are supporting the state prosecutors with their investigation."The amount claimed to have been lost to the tax authorities was some 180 million euros (237 million dollars).
Copyright DPA

Pentagon: USS George Washington Nuclear Aircraft Carrier to join military drills off Korean Peninsula

WASHINGTON: U.S. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said on Thursday aircraft carrier USS George Washington will be sent to waters off the Korean Peninsula to participate in war games with South Korea.

"The USS George Washington will indeed exercise in the Yellow Sea," Geoff Morrell said.

China has voiced objection to any military drills off its coast. The drills were postponed from its original schedule on Sept. 5-9.

However, Morrell didn't give a specific timetable, stressing that it's not an affront to China, but rather a warning to Pyongyang.

"We have said that will take place. I don't think we have determined a date yet, but rest assured, the George Washington will operate in the Yellow Sea, as it does in other international waters," he said.

Following the sinking in March of a South Korean warship, the United States and South Korea announced new sanctions against Pyongyang and a series of joint military exercises in the waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The hardline stance incurred fierce response from Pyongyang, which was blamed for the incident by Washington and Seoul.

Pyongyang had threatened to mount a nuclear deterrence to counter the muscle flexing of the United States and South Korea.

FDIC to drop $58.9 billion on Horizon Bank failure

Horizon Bank, of Bradenton, Florida, which has operated in Manatee County, in the Tampa Bay region since 1999, was shut down on Friday by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

In July Horizon engaged Cappello Capital Corp. of Santa Monica, California, to be its financial advisor in connection with a proposed recapitalization of Horizon Bank, which unfortunately for the bank did not eventuate.

On Friday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC says it has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bank of the Ozarks, of Little Rock, Arkansas, to assume all of the deposits of Horizon Bank.

The four Horizon branches at 900 53rd Avenue, East Bradenton, 2102 59th Street, West Bradenton, 1525 E. Brandon Blvd, Brandon, and 501 8th Avenue West, Palmetto (pictured), will reopen on Monday as branches of Bank of the Ozarks. Depositors of Horizon Bank will automatically become depositors of Bank of the Ozarks, the FDIC said in a statement published late Friday. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of Horizon Bank should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from Bank of the Ozarks that it has completed systems changes to allow other Bank of the Ozarks branches to process their accounts as well, the FDIC statement said.

During the weekend, depositors of Horizon can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

As of June 30, 2010, Horizon Bank, which made a first quarter profit this year of $143,000, had approximately $187.8 million in total assets and $164.6 million in total deposits. Bank of the Ozarks did not pay the FDIC a premium for the deposits of Horizon Bank.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $58.9 million. Compared to other alternatives, Bank of the Ozarks' acquisition was the least costly resolution for the FDIC's DIF. Horizon Bank is the 119th FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the twenty-third in Florida. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Community National Bank at Bartow, Bartow, on August 20, 2010.

US-China Trade Tensions Seen Boiling Over If Congress Acts

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--U.S. lawmakers could soon replace feisty rhetoric with action on China and its currency policy.

Frustrated members of Congress may vote in the coming weeks on legislation penalizing Chinese imports for Beijing's artificially low currency. Anger over the artificially low yuan is a long-simmering issue on Capitol Hill, but is becoming more pronounced. Stoked by a heated U.S. election cycle and ailing economy, some insiders predict the China penalty bills will pass at least the House and possibly the Senate.

"Congress will move with some expediency," said Charles Freeman, a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative and a top ...


Throughout this nation it is becoming commonplace for state and federal governments to raid food buying clubs, private food co-ops, family farms and even micro farms. The reason these raids are taking place is that the FDA has determined that we are not smart enough to decide what we want to eat. They are making sure that we have a hard time getting food that is actually good for us and fulfilling their public health mission. This is the first in a three article series profiling two cases in the state of Missouri to illustrate what will be terrifically commonplace once Senate Bill 510, (The Food Safety Modernization Act-third article) is in place.

In Missouri we have families, and a food freedom movement, that are being persecuted, and I use that term intentionally, with accusation aforethought. The first family I am going to profile is the Bechard’s of Conway, Missouri. They are facing prosecution by Attorney General Koster for violating the following State statute and were also taken to court -and convicted- by Green County Health Department for “operating a food establishment without a permit”. Basically, they are being taken to court for trying to make a living from their lawful product. Their crime? Providing people with fresh milk that tested out to be perfectly fine and had no complaints or reports of illness associated with it at all.

The Bechard’s have a small farm, where they raise sheep, poultry and cattle and sell their products directly to consumers. They milk six cows and are not a “graded” facility. They deliver milk to their customers at a pre-arranged pick up point in the parking lot of Mama Jeans Natural Foods in Springfield, Missouri. In April of 2009, their eldest daughters were delivering the milk and were approached by someone wanting to buy a half-gallon of milk. Since they had it, they sold it to the man. Two weeks later, the same thing occurred. These two on the spot sales were to employees of the Green County Health Department.

The Health Department tested the milk. What they found was that there was no problem with the milk at all. The first half-gallon was kept overnight possibly on a kitchen counter and did have a high somatic cell count. The second batch was taken to the lab within an hour and had a very low somatic cell count attesting to the Bechard’s cleanliness. These two sales landed the Bechard’s in court.

Let’s look at the state charge first. Here is the pertinent Missouri law on milk :

State milk inspection required on all graded fluid milk or milk products--pasteurization required, exception.

196.935. No person shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, transport, or deliver any graded fluid milk or graded fluid milk products in this state unless the milk or milk products are graded and produced, transported, processed, manufactured, distributed, labeled and sold under state milk inspection and the same has also been produced or pasteurized as required by a regulation authorized by section 196.939 and under proper permits issued thereunder. Only pasteurized graded fluid milk and fluid milk products as defined in subdivision (3) of section 196.931 shall be sold to the final consumer, or to restaurants, soda fountains, grocery stores, or similar establishments; except an individual may purchase and have delivered to him for his own use raw milk or cream from a farm.

Evidently, Missouri Attorney General Koster doesn’t understand either the term “graded” or the meaning of the word “except”, and is opting for redefining that word by putting a family’s livelihood on the line and moving forward with prosecution of Armand Bechard for selling his milk to individuals who want the product. Koster’s argument for pursuing a case against the Bechard’s is that he has gone back and read through the floor arguments from 1972 when the law was enacted in Missouri and believes that the legislators didn’t mean what they actually wrote into law. Koster has also consulted with the bureaucracy that is “in charge” of milk in Missouri, “The Milk Board”. Incidentally, the new chair of the Milk Board is also on the Green County Health Department and is driving the charges against the Bechard’s.

For years, the Milk Board has periodically threatened providers of fresh milk with fines and penalties if they continue to sell their product. Usually, the threats come after the Milk Board has made telephone calls to providers of milk listed on a Weston A. Price website called Real Milk. We are listed on that site, and from three weeks to two months prior to actions from the Milk Board instructing people to “cease and desist” or be fined for selling milk, we receive calls for milk from several hours away asking if we have milk for sale; and then I know something is about to happen. This is exactly what happened before the “sting” on the Bechard family occurred.

In the two most recent state legislative sessions there has been a bill put forth to clarify that it is lawful for people to sell their milk to individuals for their own use. Both times, the Milk Board maintained that it wasn’t necessary and once they even wrote a letter for dissemination clarifying that it was indeed legal to sell milk from a farm directly to an individual.

Attorney General Koster asked the Bechard’s to sign a consent decree that states they will never deliver milk at a common pick up point again and instead will take all milk directly to the residence of the people wanting the milk. It also stipulates that the Bechard’s are guilty of violating state law and amounts to a confession of guilt.

Not too surprisingly, this wasn’t an appealing way to resolve the issue for the Bechard’s. We are talking about a product that is not stable in all temperatures and that needs to stay cool so it doesn’t go bad and breed bacteria. If they were to drop off product at residences, there is no telling how long the product could be without refrigeration. People do still work, and most families have both the husband and wife working, so the chances of meeting people at their homes when delivery is possible for all parties is small. The Bechard’s, like anyone in business, are interested in keeping their customers happy, so increasing the chances of sour milk on the doorstep isn’t an idea they want to entertain.

This case will begin in earnest this fall, and the availability of fresh milk in Missouri is dependent on the outcome of this State case against the Bechard’s.

Armand Bechard says, “In 2003 we called and asked the Health Department if we needed to do anything special to sell our milk and they told us that in our situation, according to the law, we were a farm and therefore exempt; we needed no permits at all. That’s what the code in Green County actually states, and we have been selling milk since then in this manner.” Asked if there had been any changes to the municipal code and Armand asserts that there are no changes regarding farm products. The only thing offered in explanation of the suit against them was that the Health Department had adopted the 1999 FDA Food Code. So, evidently, if someone from the Health Department says you need a permit, then you need a permit; even if state and county law don’t require it. Never mind what the law actually says, we’re now being run by the whimsy of agents running off initiatives of Federal bureaucracies. It’s not too comforting for those of us who tend to think unregulated thoughts.

Common sense would dictate that the Bechard case should be a non-issue. No reports of illnesses and no complaints whatsoever about the product, no clear violation of the law, should be no problem, right? But we can’t apply logic to the legal system. The judge found Armand Bechard guilty of violating the Green County Health Department’s adoption of the 1999 FDA Food Code by “operating a food establishment without a permit”. The family pick up truck used to deliver milk is the “establishment”. The County was asking for $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail for selling an unregulated product that caused no harm to any one. The sentence rendered was a $250 fine. Bechard is appealing and has been awarded a new trial.

So the question becomes, what is the Food Code? It is currently a nearly 700 page document for cities, counties, states and local governments to write regulations for their citizens. The initiatives in the Food Code are not necessarily Federal law, they are generally desires of the FDA and are more in line with the international Food Code of Codex Alimentarius than actual regulations or statutes from the Federal government. Wholesale adoption of the Food Code is a dangerous thing for freedom, yet nearly all states have adopted some version as part of their Health Department program. Cooperative Agreements between state and local governments to implement the Food Code are usually accompanied by a big sweaty pile of your money. One of these initiatives included in the Food Code is Healthy People 2020. This is a program through HHS that is supposed to make us all quite healthy. One objective of Healthy People 2020 is to increase the number of states that prohibit the sale or distribution of unpasteurized dairy products.

Missouri is a state with a very obstinate strain of people, especially in the Ozarks region of the state where the Bechard’s and Morningland Dairy (the other issue I am profiling for you in this series) are located. The Missouri Mule is famous because it adequately displays the characteristics of the citizens of the state. As a general rule, we won’t be pushed or coerced into doing something we don’t want to do. I personally find it a little more than interesting that the MIAC Report, targeting close to 70% of the citizens of the state and these recent attacks on raw dairy are happening here, where resistance is great.

If Missouri falls to full implementation of the Food Code and Healthy People 2020 the rest of the states will likely be little competition for the overreaching federal government controls brought to full enforcement by the Food Safety Modernization Act (S510). Meanwhile, we continue to fight for the right to eat what we choose, and the Bechard family faces increasing court costs. The bottom line of all of this is that if you are at all interested in agriculture, meaning you have an interest in continuing to eat food, you must become an ‘agtivist’. No Farmers-No Food.

© 2010 Doreen Hannes - All Rights Reserved

Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed

BBC Bias: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Standing Army - The American Empire

US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009

Hope Yen and Liz SidotiAssociated Press

WASHINGTON — The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009 – the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency – are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase – from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent – would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

"The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there," Obama said Friday at a White House news conference. He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, "If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle."

Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.

Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

Demographers also are confident the report will show:

- Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.
- Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
- Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

"My guess is that politically these figures will be greeted with alarm and dismay but they won't constitute a clarion call to action," said William Galston, a domestic policy aide for President Bill Clinton. "I hope the parties don't blame each other for the desperate circumstances of desperate people. That would be wrong in my opinion. But that's not to say it won't happen."

Lawrence M. Mead, a New York University political science professor who is a conservative and wrote "The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America," argued that the figures will have a minimal impact in November.

"Poverty is not as big an issue right now as middle-class unemployment. That's a lot more salient politically right now," he said.

But if Thursday's report is as troubling as expected, Republicans in the midst of an increasingly strong drive to win control of the House, if not the Senate, would get one more argument to make against Democrats in the campaign homestretch.

The GOP says voters should fire Democrats because Obama's economic fixes are hindering the sluggish economic recovery. Rightly or wrongly, Republicans could cite a higher poverty rate as evidence.

Democrats almost certainly will argue that they shouldn't be blamed. They're likely to counter that the economic woes – and the poverty increase – began under President George W. Bush with the near-collapse of the financial industry in late 2008.

Although that's true, it's far from certain that the Democratic explanation will sway voters who already are trending heavily toward the GOP in polls as worrisome economic news piles up.

Hispanics and blacks – traditionally solid Democratic constituencies – could be inclined to stay home in November if, as expected, the Census Bureau reports that many more of them were poor last year.

Beyond this fall, the findings could put pressure on Obama to expand government safety net programs ahead of his likely 2012 re-election bid even as Republicans criticize him about federal spending and annual deficits. Those are areas of concern for independent voters whose support is critical in elections.

Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint – social constraints prevent the poor from working – will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.

"The Great Recession will surely push the poverty rate for working-age people to a nearly 50-year peak," said Elise Gould, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. She said that means "it's time for a renewed attack on poverty."

To Douglas Besharov, a University of Maryland public policy professor, the big question is whether there's anything more to do to help these families.

The 2009 forecasts are largely based on historical data and the unemployment rate, which climbed to 10.1 percent last October to post a record one-year gain.

The projections partly rely on a methodology by Rebecca Blank, a former poverty expert who now oversees the census. She estimated last year that poverty would hit about 14.8 percent if unemployment reached 10 percent. "As long as unemployment is higher, poverty will be higher," she said in an interview then.

A formula by Richard Bavier, a former analyst with the White House Office of Management and Budget who has had high rates of accuracy over the last decade, predicts poverty will reach 15 percent.

That would put the rate at the highest level since 1993. The all-time high was 22.4 percent in 1959, the first year the government began tracking poverty. It dropped to a low of 11.1 percent in 1973 after Johnson's war on poverty but has since fluctuated in the 12-14 percent range.

In 2008, the poverty level stood at $22,025 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth. It does not factor in noncash government aid such as tax credits or food stamps, which have surged to record levels in recent years under the federal stimulus program.

Beginning next year, the government plans to publish new, supplemental poverty figures that are expected to show even higher numbers of people in poverty than previously known. The figures will take into account rising costs of medical care, transportation and child care, a change analysts believe will add to the ranks of both seniors and working-age people in poverty.


Does the world really believe it is not OK to kill the Message, but definitely OK to kill the messenger?

Image by Steve Bell
Today is the day….. 9/11 is here! Today is the day a small group of (approximately 50) people will gather in a small town in Florida to burn copies of the Quran. The lunatic ‘pastor’ behind this has already accomplished what he wanted, he has gotten the attention of the entire world by threatening this madness. Mission accomplished without striking a single match.

The world has expressed outrage, even some US public officials have joined in the outcry against this…. President Obama and Sarah Palin included. An outrage that demonstrates the complete hypocrisy of the world, especially those US public officials.
An outcry against burning copies of the Quran…. that is noble … a noble cover up of America’s war crimes!

BUT….. where was/is the outcry at the MURDER of millions of readers of that very Book? Where was/is the outcry when the US slaughtered over a million and a half Quran readers in Iraq? Where was/is the outcry when the US slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Quran readers in Afghanistan? Where was/is the outcry when the US slaughtered thousands of Quran readers in Pakistan (just yesterday 4 Pakistani children were added to the death toll).
Where was/is the outcry when the US aided and supported the slaughter of thousands of Palestinian Quran readers?

Does nobody give a damn? Does the world really believe it is not OK to kill the Message, but definitely OK to kill the messenger?

Is it not time to kill the message of hate …. before we are all killed by it?

On this 9/11, let us all stand as one against hatred and intolerance …. let us raise our voices together against the war crimes of the United States and the hatred that they generate.

Merkel ally Steinbach quits in row over blame for WWII

An ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will resign from a top party post after suggesting that Poland may have been as responsible as Hitler for the outbreak of World War II.

Erika Steinbach said Poland had mobilised its troops months before the Nazis invaded in September 1939.

Her remarks were criticised by senior politicians including Mrs Merkel.

Mrs Steinbach heads a conservative body representing Germans who were expelled from Eastern Europe after the war.

Polish politicians have condemned her stance on the war, which began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939.

The BBC's European affairs correspondent Oana Lungescu says Mrs Steinbach, the daughter of a German army officer who served in Nazi-occupied Poland, has long been a figure of hatred for Poles.

German troops invading Poland, 1 Sep 39 The Nazi invasion followed threats against Poland by Adolf Hitler

At a meeting of the Christian Democratic (CDU) party earlier this week, Mrs Steinbach said Poland had mobilised its troops in March 1939, six months before Hitler invaded the country.

The Polish ambassador to Germany compared her statement to Nazi propaganda. But, he said, today's relations between Poland and Germany were too strong to be affected.

Mrs Steinbach said she would not seek another term on the CDU's national executive on Thursday.

A Polish historian, Tomasz Szarota, called her remarks "an attempt to shift onto Poland partial blame for the start of World War II".

And German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that "ambiguous statements questioning Germany's heavy responsibility for the outbreak of World War II are unacceptable".

No Help for Heroes: 9/11 'first responders' abandoned by govt

America's Torture Doctrine

The new mainstream American value of torture is steeped in self-deception, legal justification, and propaganda. We idolize torturers in our favorite TV programs, and are happy to see our enemies (real and imagined) vicariously taken apart in order to protect our beacon of freedom. It is an Orwellian undertaking. Only a massive propaganda effort and a healthy dose of self-delusion can explain poll numbers that show a split verdict on the subject of torture's legitimacy, when it has been proven to be completely unreliable in true intelligence gathering -- not even when a "Jack Bauer" is working against a ticking bomb. We must conclude, then, that it is a type of blood sport, or a self-righteous power trip that expresses itself in the sheer enjoyment of the punishment inflicted against evildoers.

Long before there was Jack Bauer to hold a blow torch to someone's chest, there was the blood-soaked march across the ages, and the planet, inspired by fundamentalist religions. Sacrifices to Gods eventually waned, Inquisitions passed, and formal witch trials disappeared, to be supplanted by a new type of faith: The State.

The slaughters conducted by Stalin, Mao, and other decidedly Left governments, were not to be outdone by the iconoclasts of the Right. It is a cynical admission, but it seems that torture has been around so long, and in so many forms, that it is part of who we are. Evidently, we are easily whipped into a frenzy of self-righteousness that will not stop until the torture apparatus is turned upon the screaming body politic. By then, it is too late. The next generation is left to evaluate what could have led to such horrendous mass insanity.

The melting pot of modern America would seem immune to a torture doctrine; each ethnicity has their own history of horrific religious or State persecution. Many times, the arrival to America was an escape toward a nation of sound laws and founding documents that elevated the individual rights they sought. Could it be that a nation built by rugged individuals simply cannot believe that their government could become a tyranny similar to those they fled? And, yet, the evidence of history is clear: any government that uses torture never stops with the initial target of revenge. It becomes a point of no return, past which no one is immune. And, sure enough, today we see the progression from overseas non-citizens, to American citizens overseas, then citizens on American soil, and now we learn of a new bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Agency that will set up the new parameters for the sweeping inclusion of both action and thought for main street America.

But we are a nation of laws, right? Wrong. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the most bloodthirsty, well-documented, torture gang on the planet -- the CIA. They have ruled that the secrets of the State are more important than the rights of the individual. Openly. Until this point, the research and actions of the CIA have been clandestine, hidden under jungle canopies, and given plausible deniability by their black ops missions. So, down the slippery slope we slide to a place where torture has become a mainstream debate. This era will not be one looked upon fondly in the annals of American history.

In our hearts, we know what torture is. We don't need the ACLU to define it for us, nor for Jack Bauer or the courts to convince us that there are certain exclusions.

Torture is this
Medieval waterboarding used on a heretic or witch by the Catholic Church

And this
Waterboarding Demo
U.S. Government will not release photos or video of actual sessions

And this
Our Legacy?
Another Nuremburg in the Making: Intelligence Agencies Employ Physicians to Torture Detainees

There Already Was A Ground-Zero Mosque -- On The 17th Floor Of The World Trade Center

It turns out there was a Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center, where Americans and other traveling Muslims prayed every day.

On September 11th, 2001, when a handful of terrorists flew planes into the towers, some of the folks who used the room evacuated in time. Others probably didn't.

In other words, there already was a "ground zero mosque"--used by Muslim Americans who were murdered just like everyone else.

So isn't it time we stopped framing this discussion as "us versus them"?

Police arrest man, then give him bike

(CNN) -- Police officers in central Taiwan arrested a man for stealing a bicycle this week and originally planned to lock him up for theft charges.

However, the police later discovered that the man was so poor that they not only did not prosecute him but instead decided to donate a bike to him.

According to police officers in central Taiwan's Chiayi County, the man stole the bicycle from a high school near his home in order to help save his daughter time in walking from her vocational school to the hospital.

His daughter usually walked 10 kilometers (6 miles) to take care of him in the hospital. The man has often been ill and has had to be hospitalized, police said.

Police said that the man originally told his daughter that he had bought the bicycle second-hand.

However, later the former owner of the bike recognized it. Both father and daughter were taken in by the police.

Police officers learned that the man was living in desperate conditions, with no access to water or electricity and was living in an empty shipping container beside a graveyard.

Chiayi police officers not only did not press charges against the old man but jointly bought a new bike for the girl.

UK: Archaeologists Discover 200-Year-Old Skeleton of London's "Moby Dick" Washed Up on Banks of the Thames

Scientists have discovered the bones of a gigantic whale that was the size of the legendary Moby Dick and which was abandoned on the banks of the Thames more than 200 years ago.

The headless skeleton of the rare North Atlantic right whale weighs around half a tonne, is 52 feet long and around 13 feet wide. The huge skeleton is believed to date back to the 17th or 18th Century and remained in such good condition because the river mud preserved it.

Scientists believe that when it died at Greenwich it was between 50 and 100 years old and that it either became stranded on the beach or was harpooned by whalers at sea and towed along the Thames.

However, the whale's position is not consistent with a natural beaching, say experts.

Whales generally beach head-first, or lie parallel to the shoreline. This animal was probably dragged tail-first up onto the foreshore, to allow Londoners access to the carcass for meat, oil and baleen. Its head had been cut off.

An area of bone missing from one of the vertebrae suggests that the animal may have been harpooned, or that gaff-hooks were used to secure the carcass.

The right whale's name refers to the fact that it floats when dead and has a high oil yield, meaning these enormous mammals were regarded as literally the 'right whales' for whalers to hunt.

The species - Eubalaena glacialis - is now threatened with extinction.

Francis Grew, Senior Curator of Archaeology and Archive Manager at the Museum of London, said: 'This is probably the largest single 'object' ever to have been found on an archaeological dig in London. Whales occasionally swim into the Thames, and there are historical accounts of the enormous public excitement they engendered. To have found a skeleton, which just possibly might be linked with one of those sightings, is quite incredible.'

Whale oil was used for lighting and whale bones were used in everything from ladies' corsets and umbrellas.

Individuals can grow to a length of around 55 feet and the head comprises up to a third of the total length.

Organized hunting began several centuries ago, and continued into the first half of the 20th century.

Before that the species was relatively common in the North Atlantic. Its range extended from north-west Africa across to Florida, and then as far north as Iceland and sub-Arctic waters.

The whale's skeleton is to go on display for the first time at the Museum of London Docklands in museum foyer until Tuesday.

© Roland Hoskins
Tracey Heath from the Natural History Mammal unit inspects the bones before it is taken to the Museum of London to go on display

© Roland Hoskins
The skeleton was found headless but otherwise remarkably intact. It is the largest object ever to be discovered in an archaeological dig by the Thames
After display the skeleton will be transported to its new home at the Natural History Museum, where it will be carbon-dated and used by researchers to understand more about this endangered species.

Scientists can use the bones to extract DNA and stable isotopes, which can provide information about genetic diversity, distribution in the ocean and feeding strategies.

Richard Sabin, Senior Curator of Mammals at the Natural History Museum, said: 'We are very excited about this as it is in such good condition and so intact. People from all over the world will be able to study it. I think would have been about 70 years old - in advanced age - because we've detected some signs of disease on the bones. Once it's at the Natural History Museum we will be able to extract DNA so we'll have a more accurate age then, and we will also be able to determine the sex as well. The North Atlantic right whale was a very slow-moving, visible mammal so could be harpooned easily by whalers. It's now virtually extinct in the east Atlantic so that's another reason this is such a find.'

Tim Bradley, Project Manager at Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd, said: 'When the archaeologist on site phoned me to say that he had found a whale I thought he was joking.

'As archaeologists we're used to reacting to unexpected finds, but the size and location of the whale on the tidal foreshore made recovery particularly challenging - among other things it broke the suspension on our van.

'We're very excited to have made such exceptional discovery.'

© Stapleton Collection/Corbis
A 16th-Century woodcut etching of a whale being butchered on the shore. The London whale would have been stripped bare by local people

Toddler whose heart stopped for an hour makes 'miracle' recovery

A toddler whose heart stopped for nearly an hour after he fell into a ditch of freezing water has made a remarkable recovery.

Gore Otteson was without a heartbeat for between 50 to 55 minutes after he wandered away from the family holiday cabin and ended up face down in an irrigation ditch

Gore Otteson was without a heartbeat for between 50 to 55 minutes after he wandered away from the family holiday cabin and ended up face down in an irrigation ditch. His parents were told there was a less than one per cent chance he would have any brain function.

It is thought he had been under the ice-cold water for about 25 minutes before he was found and his rescuers began resuscitation.

His heart did not start for nearly half an hour after he was found and some at the Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado, USA, where he was treated even questioned why life-saving efforts that took place continued as long as they did.

However, now, weeks after the incident the 21-month-old has made a full recovery.

His parents, Dave and Amy Otteson, from Lakewood, Denver, say doctors are without any explanation for their son's amazing progress and have hailed his complete recovery as "a miracle".

Mr Otteson said: "Based on the first day of physical therapy, if you would have said he would be walking out of the hospital three weeks later, we wouldn't have believed it,"

"Now he's the same kid that he was before the accident."

Dr. Roger Sherman, ER doctor at Gunnison Valley Hospital, said that as well as the resuscitation efforts, a phenomenon called "mammalian dive reflex" was to thank for Gore's incredible survival.

In humans, especially youngsters, cold water causes the body's heart rate to slow, creating a kind of hibernation.

Dr Sherman said: "There is an adage in emergency medicine that you're never dead until you're warm and dead and the kid was extremely cooled down."

"In his case, because we were able to restart his heart with a drug called atropine, we decided not to warm him up.

"It just took a couple days for his neurological system to come back."

The Source of America’s Wars – Kristol Clear [VIDEO]

My Catbird Seat

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail –

Americans feeling let down by Barack Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan should take careful note of those who welcomed yet another “surge.” It might help them to

Top Irving Kristol (father). Bottom left William Kristol (son) middle Robert Kagan and right Charles Krauthammer

identify the source of their seemingly endless wars.

For instance, in a recent Washington Post opinion piece, William Kristol described Obama’s West Point speech as “encouraging.” It was “a good thing,” he said, that Obama was finally speaking as “a war president.”

But if the comments on the Post website are anything to go by, few ordinary Americans take Kristol’s armchair warmongering seriously anymore. After all, as one poster quizzically asked, “A column by William Kristol the neocon that was wrong about everything from 2000-2008?”

Although Kristol, like the rest of the neocons, “erred” about Iraq’s WMDs and Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda and 9/11, it would be a fatal error indeed to dismiss him as a fool.

In order to understand what motivates Bill Kristol’s professed hyper-patriotism, with its consistently disastrous prescriptions, it’s worth recalling how his father, Irving Kristol, reacted to Vietnam War critic Senator George McGovern. The presidential contender’s proposed cut in U.S. military expenditure would, according to the “godfather” of neoconservatism, “drive a knife in the heart of Israel.”

“Jews don’t like big military budgets,” the elder Kristol explained in a Jewish publication in 1973. “But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States … American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.”

American Greatness

Following his father’s advice, William Kristol has been a fervent supporter of massive U.S. military spending. In 1996, he co-authored with Robert Kagan an influential neocon manifesto titled “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy.” It recommended that “America should pursue a vision of benevolent hegemony as bold as Reagan’s in the 1970s and wield its authority unabashedly.

“The defense budget should be increased dramatically, citizens should be educated to appreciate the military’s vital work abroad, and moral clarity should direct a foreign policy that puts the heat on dictators and authoritarian regimes.”

In response, another influential opinion-maker, Charles Krauthammer, hailed Kristol and Kagan as “the main proponents of what you might call the American greatness school.” It is hardly a coincidence, however, that all three advocates of “American greatness” care passionately about what Irving Kristol euphemistically referred to as “the survival of the state of Israel.” Or that many of those “dictators and authoritarian regimes” just happened to stand in the way of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

The following year, Kristol and Kagan co-founded the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a pressure group which sought to advance their “neo-Reaganite” vision. In the late 1990s, they did this mainly by writing letters to Bill Clinton, urging him to oust Saddam Hussein.

In September 2000, PNAC published “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” in which they famously acknowledged that “the process of transformation … is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

One year later, they got their wished for “new Pearl Harbor” on September 11. The mass murder of almost 3,000 Americans was, as Benjamin Netanyahu indelicately put it, “very good” for Israel.

Kristol’s War

Immediately, Kristol’s Weekly Standard began linking Iraq to the attacks. Writing in The American Conservative, Scott McConnell explained the strategy: “Their rhetoric — which laid down a line from which the magazine would not waver over the next 18 months — was to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in virtually every paragraph, to join them at the hip in the minds of readers.”

The “Saddam must go” campaign, begun in a Kristol and Kagan editorial as far back as 1997, became so relentless that Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen dubbed it “Kristol’s War.”

The Iraq War has, of course, also been called “Wolfowitz’s War.” But it could just as aptly have been named after Perle, Feith, Libby, Zelikow, Lieberman, or any of the other pro-Israeli insiders who took America to war by way of deception.

In “Irving Kristol RIP,” editor Justin Raimondo described Kristol’s legacy as “war, war, and yet more war, as far as the eye can see.”

Unless Americans soon realize that they’ve been deceived by those for whom “American greatness” is merely a means to advance “the survival of the state of Israel,” that legacy promises to be an enduring one.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan. To read more of his writing, go to Maidhc Ó Cathail: Writing and Analysis.

Social Engineering Bill In Senate Will Force You Into City

A social engineering bill to restrict residence in the suburbs and rural areas and force Americans into city centers has passed the United States Senate Banking Committee and is on the fast track to passage in the Senate.

The bill is called the Livable Communities Act (SB 1619) and it was introduced by corruptocrat outgoing Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). It seeks to fulfill the United Nation’s plan Agenda 21, adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and signed onto by “New World Order” President George H.W. Bush.

This bill is designed to destroy your community. According to the non-profit American Policy Center the bill:

  • Is a blueprint for the transformation of our society into total Federal control.
  • Will enforce Federal Sustainable Development zoning and control of local communities.
  • Will create a massive new “development” bureaucracy.
  • Will drive up the cost of energy to heat and cool your home.
  • Will drive up the cost of gasoline as a way to get you out of your car.
  • Will force you to spend thousands of dollars on your home in order to comply.

Read Entire Article

Police given earthquake training for 'extremely unlikely crisis'

Hundreds of police officers undertook a three-day course on how to deal with powerful earthquakes even though Britain has never experienced any such event.

Police given earthquake training for 'extremely unlikely crisis'
Fire and rescue crews from across Europe and the Middle East took part in a major exercise simulating an earthquake hitting a fictional UK town. Photo: PA

Britain endures its fair share of elemental hardships: floods, storms, and even the occasional tornado. It is not, however, known for its high risk of catastrophic earthquakes.

But that did not stop police officers undertaking a three-day course training them to deal with a devastating tremor.

Officers from four British forces participated in the £826,000 exercise that simulated the consequences from a tremor measuring eight on the Richter scale hitting the country – something that has never happened and probably never will.

The teams were called in to work with European and Middle Eastern officials for the “extremely unlikely” crisis.

Hundreds of actors were also employed to recreate the mock disaster scenes across the country.

Critics suggested the three day exercise, one of the largest ever undertaken, was a waste of valuable resources as it would almost never occur in Britain.

Senior officials, however, felt it “necessary” to be prepared for such an “unthinkable” event despite just 11 people dying from earthquakes in Britain over the past 1000 years.

This week’s EU-funded project, code-named Exercise Orion, simulated emergency services rescuing people caught up in the disaster. In one “real life event”, up to 600 casualties were rescued from the town of “Widley”, Hants.

That disaster, recreated near Portsmouth, caused motorways and apartment blocks to collapse, oil storage plants to be damaged and cars to start burning.

Under the scenario, British emergency services were soon overwhelmed and the Cabinet Office issued an appeal for European Union assistance.

Teams from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden then joined urban search-and-rescue teams from the United Arab Emirates.

Other mock earthquake scenes, involving hundreds of fire fighters, ambulance crews and a fleet of helicopters were held in Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire and Merseyside.

In Merseyside the mock exercise involved creating an “urban street scene” complete with burning buildings, trapped “victims” and 40 smashed up cars.

An eight-magnitude quake is classed as a “great earthquake”, which causes “serious damage in areas several hundred miles across”. There are only one recorded every year throughout the world.

"It's all very well and good preparing for a giant earthquake, but in the end you might as well plan for a meteor strike or a volcano,” said one police officer, who did not want to be named.

"It just seems like a lot of manpower being used to deal with something which is not just extremely unlikely, but dare I say impossible."

Pete Crook, of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, defended the project, which prepared authorities for “the unthinkable".

"Exercise Orion is deliberately being organised to challenge all teams to the limit,” he said.

"That is why we have chosen the unlikely scenario of an earthquake, because the UK is not accustomed to such incidents and it is therefore outside all normal planning assumptions."

The last “major” tremor to hit the UK was one measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale which hit Lincolnshire in February 2008 and injured one man who broke his pelvis.

According to the British Geological Society there are between 200 and 300 earthquakes every year in the UK with just 11 people dying when records began in 974.

The strongest British earthquake was the 1931 Dogger Bank earthquake, which measured 6.1 on the Richter scale.

One woman in Hull died after suffering a heart attack and the head of the waxwork of Dr Crippen fell off at Madame Tussauds.

Last weekend New Zealand was hit by a devastating 7.0 quake, which damaged 100,000 homes and left a bill of NZ$2 billion (£930 million) but killed no one.